Friday, February 6, 2015

Encyclopedia of Me - C (Mark)

Photos courtesy of:;;;;

California: Let's get the obvious one out of the way. I grew up in California, spending most of my time in the San Francisco Bay Area, not far from the Napa wine country. I love it there. The climate is great--four seasons, nothing too severe. The food and diversity are unrivaled. And besides where I grew up, the entire state is like a mini country with a little of something for everyone. One big drawback now is how crowded and expensive it is.

John Coltrane: Yes. This is my jazz reference for this list. C'mon. You knew it was coming. I don't play the saxophone, but any jazz musician worth anything should know Coltrane, and should own "Giant Steps." His work was groundbreaking, and there has never really been a jazz saxophonist that has touched him since.

Harry Connick, Jr.: OK. One more jazz reference. (but no baseball reference this time, so it's fine). I'm sure he shows up on a lot of my lists, but he's one of my favorites. I first became aware of him after Harry put out his "We Are in Love" album, which is great. It's a great throwback to Sinatra and the other jazz vocal greats. But he didn't stop there. Funk, bebop, New Orleans style jazz, standards, Broadway tunes, whatever. He can do it all. Plus, I feel like he's one of the big artists on the soundtrack of my life, especially life with Stacy.

Christmas: I love it. I love the music, the snow, the chilly temperatures, the excitement in the air, the lights, the decorations. I've always loved winter and the holidays, but especially after meeting Stacy and falling in love during that season. As much as she hates the cold, I feel like the holidays are "our" time of year. We were even married just before Christmas. I love seeing how excited the kids get about it now, too. And the dog is just crazy for presents!

Children: We've got two great ones. We talk about them a lot, and I don't know what else to say than I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful son and daughter. I'm blown away by their creativity, intelligence, kindness, and every other good adjective I can think of. I feel so honored to get to be one of their parents.

Canada: I lived in Vancouver for about a year when I was 8. I still remember a lot about it. I remember taking skiing lessons, which I enjoyed. I remember having an incredible neighborhood in the woods that we could explore. I remember epic backyard baseball games with my brother Doug where the Milwaukee Brewers were always the butt of every joke and never the winners. I remember not singing "O Canada" before school assemblies because I was American and didn't know the words. I remember singing "Bloody Mary" in our school's production of "South Pacific." I remember Doug coming home with a Canadian accent. And I remember seeing the Canadian Brass perform in a school assembly and thinking to myself, "I have GOT to play the trombone." I think I remember really liking Canada. I also remember a great band trip to Victoria, B.C. to perform in the Victoria Day Parade. That city has the look and feel of London and is a really cool place.

Chicago/Peter Cetera: I always liked Chicago. How could I not? They had a great horn section. But I really gave them and Peter Cetera a closer listen after meeting Stacy. The summer after our freshman year I went out and got all three Cetera albums that were out at the time and wore them out. Both he and Chicago have a great sound, and the songwriting is great. If you're into great 80s/90s power ballads, you can't go wrong with either one. Also, Peter Cetera kind of looks like David Rasche, star of TV's "Sledgehammer," a gem from my childhood that is too often forgotten. Maybe it's because it was so ridiculous, but I still liked it.

I could do this Stacy style now, where I list a bunch more words that start with C and overwhelm myself trying to list them all, or I could just list one bonus item, which I'm fairly certain will show up on all the other lists in this house. Calvin and Hobbes. So many reasons to love this comic. I'll just leave it at that.
Stacy, anything to say about this one?


The Magic Violinist said...

It's funny how all of us hate the cold, but we all love Christmas like crazy.

I never knew that you wanted to play the trombone after seeing it in Canada! Living there had to be such a cool adventure. I love exploring woods. Something about it seems magical.

Boquinha said...

Ooooh, these are really good! I like reading about your childhood memories. Not surprised that we both put down the same two music ones! I love that you have Christmas and Children on your list. And the comic you've chosen? HILARIOUS!

Boquinha said...

Ha, Kate, that's so true!

Dr. Mark said...

To be clear, I don't hate the cold, per se. I can get winter weary, and who wouldn't dislike going out in 2-degree weather. But yeah, cold weather can get old.

Stacy, I'm glad you enjoyed the comic. Fond memories there, too. :)

Jimmy said...

Great list and some great memories. And I really (no, I mean it this time), need to take a stab at Jazz music.

Emily Foley said...

I like your California and Canada references. I wish I knew you guys when you were kids.

I love Christmas! Hate the cold!

Zoe dropped her Olaf the snowman on Christmas day in the snow, and Dave just found it a few days ago. She was so excited. Way more excited than for a quarter. :)

Dr. Mark said...

Jimmy, you really should take a stab at it. I think I may have a suggestion or two buried in some other blog posts as well.

Emily, I wonder what you would think about us in our younger days. We haven't changed a ton, but I'd venture we are a BIT different now. Marginally more mature anyway. And found items always deserve celebration, no matter how small.